395 — A Week With Enkidu



I’m going to borrow a leaf from Shamus over at Twenty-Sided and complain a bit about something that has been bugging me for a LOOOOOOOONG time. That would be videogame difficulty settings… or really the lack thereof. I bought the original Playstation back however many years ago the damn thing came out, and Lena and I really enjoyed it. (Lena was very worried about it until we first played Tekken and she discovered that she could kick my ass — worries over.) We played a lot of games on that old Playstation, and were happy to buy the PS2 when it came out as well. 


Tekken Five
Tekken Five

There have been some changes in the ways videogames are made between now and then. The companies are bigger, the costs are larger, and the consequences of producing a dog game are pretty steep. 

“Hardcore” gamers buy more games than casual gamers. This seems like a pretty obvious point to make. Over the years, game companies have marketed more and more to these hardcore gamers by giving them the games that they wanted. These games reward speed, perseverance, and acquired skills gained through hours of non-stop gameplay. In short, games that I no longer want to play. While I may have the desire to buy and play games, I no longer possess the time nor patience to teach myself the skills necessary to have any fun. And that’s the other side of the equation.

Now I’m not knocking these games… obviously there’s a winning model here and I understand that there’d be no games at all if there weren’t money to be made. But I have to wonder… how much longer would it have taken to add a mode where the bad guys took a quarter-second longer to shoot, or where I didn’t have to reload, or the jumps were 20% more forgiving, or any one of a zillion different settings that could be altered allowing me the pleasure of playing the cool games with the other kids instead of being left to watch from the playground fence. I have a little discretionary income, I have the desire, but I have been marginalized out of the game. I would never suggest making games easier and losing the primary audience, only give me the ability to make my game easier, and play what I want. I cannot be the only person who feels this way.

Until then, I’ll keep playing WoW. At least Blizzard understands me… and they aren’t hurting for customers.

6 Responses to 395 — A Week With Enkidu

  1. may I recommend the Wii, for a more casual casual console gamer they have a wide variety of choice and cater specifically to non hardcore demographics, meaning that my mom and I can play the Lara Croft games, on different settings, but still feel we are playing the same game, together.

  2. I feel the same way. I am now 25. I started playing NES when I was 5. I would spend hours, days, even months of time mastering each game that I liked. Now if I pick it up, can’t figure it out, I get frustrated and quit. I have been however playing the heck out of the Wii! Mario Galaxy rocks, the sports and little yard games are so much fun.

    Now I personally can’t stand WoW. Played for about a year, had a couple max level characters, got bored, left. I do play Everquest 2 and have been for quite some time now. But even with that, back when I played orginal Everquest back in 1999-2004. I would sit down for 5-8 hours for a play session. Now I get to enjoy maybe an hour or 2 a night, some nights none at all. But my character still progresses. Old school everquest I never would of seen an xp bar movement for 2 hours worth of play.

  3. I’m with you Kevin. At 42 my fingers are noticably slower than they used to be. I really liked the original Doom – you had lots of different levels and could wind it down to “easy mode” for some simple, slow-twitching carnage. Sadly, those options do not exist any more. Yes, I could do the Wii thing, but it’s my understanding (from the complaints by hard-core gamers) that Wii doesn’t offer that genre of games. Sure, I could play Lara Croft or Mario, but I wanna blow up waves and waves of aliens – I just wanna be able to do it without my hands hurting for two days afterward.

  4. Personally I prefer my Atari 2600. Space invaders is the coolest! and then Adventure, Night Rider or Pitfall! never could figure out Pitfall…. maybe I didn’t have the patience.


  5. Heh, i have almost had all game platforms,atari,c64,nes,playstation1&2 and most inportant, PC!
    and when it comes to games, i do agree with u guys that the console games these days are either 2 easy or to hastely put together, one of the main reasons why i stick with the pc, other is that all the game types i like are out on this one and u can always get patches without paying exstra.
    And to jellybeans, the trick to playing mmo’s or any other game is to stay interested! if u get bored, do like i do,just go play another game! helps with me since i’m also an C&C fan as wel as someone who also loves D&D games like neverwinter nights2 🙂 keeps things fresh if u are’t in the mood for the game u are current playing.
    Try it out 🙂

  6. I’m with you Kevin. I can’t count the number I’ve taken back to GameDawgz or whoever and exchanged because the difficulty settings were ridiculous and should have been labeled Hard, Harder and Impossible.